Saturday, September 26, 2009

Redefining Hot Pants

One of the new experiences I've had this year is learning how to shoot a handgun and all the responsibilities that come with gun ownership. I don't get to the range as much as I would like, but when I do go, I enjoy myself. I always select the same paper target: The life-size bad guy. He's clad in a baseball cap, flannel shirt, and sun glasses, and he's pointing a handgun at me. I stretegically place neon-orange target circles in various places on the bad guy to track my aim. As I slide the magazine into the gun and squeeze the trigger, I picture myself as one of Charlie's Angels - Kelly, if you really want to know - complete with bellbottom pants. Cheesy? Yes. Effective? Let's just say, my aim is pretty accurate. Bring it on, bad dude.

I consider myself well-versed in the gun safety. Always make sure the safety is on if the gun isn't being fired. Always make sure the firearm is pointed down range. Never point a gun at anyone, unless of course, you mean to use it. But there is one side effect of shooting a gun that I wasn't prepared for and that I can't really control: the spent shell casing. When a gun is fired, the ejected shell casings morph into scalding brass projectiles with no set path. I learned this the hard way: twice.

The first time was several weeks ago. I went to the range wearing a shirt with a modest v-neck. During one round, a shell casing popped straight back and chose my v-neck as it's target. Straight in. It took a few seconds before I felt the searing pain of burning flesh, but once I did I couldn't get the casing out fast enough, especially after it lodged itself in my bra. I tossed my firearm on the ledge of the stall - barrell pointing down range - and reached up my shirt to save my burning boobs from the burning brass. My husband looks at me and says, "You forgot to put the safety on." I looked at him and said, "Apparently, you've never had a hot shell casing stuck in your bra." 'Nuff said.

The second time it happened was yesterday. I chose to wear a white long-sleeved crew neck shirt. Alas, my shirt was no match for one rebel shell casing. This time, it went down my shirt, bypassed the bra, and got stuck between by innie/outie belly button and the waist of my belted jeans. It was stuck for several seconds. You know those westerns where one cowboy says to the other cowboy, "Dance" and starts firing his gun at his enemy's feet? Well, I was the enemy, and I was dancing fast. My jeans are too big in the waist, and my flailing caused the shell casing to dislodged and travel down my right leg. I was finally able to shake it out, but not before it created an anvil-shaped burn mark right below my innie/outie belly button and two striped burn marks on my upper right thigh. Talk about hot pants.

Life lesson: Expect the unexpected and protect your goodies at all times.

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